At 11:30 on the morning of February 11, a big yellow crane flattened the iconic breast-shaped roofs of the building at 2600 Lee Road formerly known as the Booby Trap. In a unanimous vote December 8, 2014, the Commission voted to purchase the property for $990,000 — a premium above the appraised value of $830,000. The deal closed shortly thereafter on January 28, 2015.
Former Booby Trap Up for Sale
As the double domed-shaped roofs were falling, Mayor Kenneth Bradley erected a For Sale sign and the property went on the market for $1 Million.
Recently known as Club Rio, the former Booby Trap has gone the way of other local watering holes such as Tom & Jerry’s and the Red Fox at the Mt. Vernon Inn. This is part of a larger effort by the City to “clean up” the Lee Road gateway into Winter Park.
In a Media Alert, the stated rationale for purchasing this property was to “eliminate significant . . . police/criminal activity, eliminate repeated code violations . . . and improve one of the city’s main gateways.”
Source of Drug, Criminal Activity
As the former den of iniquity came down, Mayor Kenneth Bradley noted that while there might be some nostalgia for what he called an “historic landmark,” the City bought the building “because it’s been a source of tremendous crime in our city and drug activity.”
Bradley said the City has already received expressions of interest in the property and that its commercial zoning would make it a good site for an office or restaurant. Bradley said the City was getting rid of an “eyesore” and was making an important investment that will improve the area. The properties immediately east of the Booby Trap, at 2540 Lee Road and 2566 Lee Road, are owned by Bradley’s employer, Florida Hospital.
“Off the Record,” a Few Neighbors Will Miss It
Mike Gottlieb, a neighbor who rode his bike to witness the demolition, remarked that this was a sad day for him. “Now I won’t be able to tell people how to find my house,” he said.
Another bystander, Winter Park resident Hilary Blessler, objected to the cost paid by the city, noting that money might be better used for trees or schools. Another bystander, who requested his name be withheld, said, “This will improve our neighborhood and raise our property values but,” he said, referring to the old club, “off the record, it was a hell of a lot of fun.”
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